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Pickup This Book

By Anonymous in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 30, 2005 3:30PM

2005_06_shesgotnext.jpgWhen Chicagoist tried out for the freshman girls' basketball team in high school and somebody asked if we always shot with two hands, we pretty much made the decision right then and there to just stick with track and cross country. As such, we find it difficult to imagine walking our little blonde-in-the-summertime white-girl self around Chicago looking for pickup ball games. And as such, we find the premise of Melissa King's She's Got Next: A Story of Getting In, Staying Open, and Taking a Shot fabulously intriguing.

Described by its publisher as "part memoir, part travelogue, part spiritual quest," She's Got Next chronicles King's growth from flailing 20-something to purposeful adult via pickup basketball, played on the streets of Chicago and beyond. The "lean, mean streets of Chicago," no less, as characterized in the Amazon book description. From what we hear, this book has more than just an intriguing premise going for it: She's Got Next is picking up buzz in media across the country, including a profile in Entertainment Weekly and shiny reviews from the usual suspects as well as a guy on Amazon who says he was "forced to read [it]." The Reader notes that the story had its start as a 1998 Reader cover story; King has also written for Sports Illustrated and the Arkansas Times and been featured in The Best American Sports Writing. Reportedly, She's Got Next is neither chick-lit nor exclusively for basketball junkies, but "us[es] the rhythms of the court to riff on the issues of race, class, gender, religion, sexual politics, and love" with "understated humor and palpable hope."

You can hear King read tonight from She's Got Next at Women and Children First in Andersonville.

Melissa King: She's Got Next
Women and Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
Tonight, June 30 at 7:30